Systematic Review: Home

What to expect

The purpose of this library guide is to introduce you to the process of doing a systematic review of the literature.







Follow Cari as she

undertakes her first

systematic review.

What is a systematic review?

Systematic review is a type of literature review.  Unlike other forms of review, where authors can include any articles they consider appropriate, a systematic review aims to remove the reviewer's biases as far as possible by following a clearly defined, transparent process. There are a number of steps in the process, and each needs to be documented effectively to ensure the process can be replicated by others or repeated/updated in the future.

  When to do a systematic review?

A systematic review starts from a clearly defined, researchable question.

plan (protocol) is developed to ensure all available evidence on the topic can be located, along with clear criteria identifying what will and will not be included. This protocol is often registered with a systematic review library, facilitating peer review, and avoiding the need for others to spend time on the search.

The search is then refined and conducted, before articles are screened for relevance, then assessed for quality and appropriateness.  Once the list of included articles is finalised, key data are extracted and analysed to produce a new perspective to the question based on the aggregated evidence.

The synthesis is then written up and submitted for publication.

    Cochrane - What are systematic reviews?

   Systematic reviews from astronomy to zoology: myths and misconceptions

   Seventy-five trials and eleven systematic reviews a day: how will we ever keep up?

   A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies


Starting Starting - develop question Starting - plan/method Starting -develop criteria Searching Searching - design search Searching - test and run search Searching - document Analysis Analysis - Screen Analysis - Apply criteria Analysis - assess quality Analysis - extract/manage data Synthesis Synthesis Writing Writing - overview Writing - structure Writing - style Image Map


       Accessibility document - Systematic review site map


Further information regarding systematic reviews can be found at the Alexandria Repository. (Please note:  Only available to Monash University students and staff).